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Another Trem Measuring Question--neck Pocket

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I know that standard Fender neck pocket specs call for a 5/8 inch (16mm) pocket -- but the neck I'm using isn't that thick --it's only 25 mm at the center (it's a one-piece all-in-one maple MIM neck). I plan to use it with a vintage style tremolo.

The big question: since according to Fender specs, the tremolo should ride up a bit at the rear (3.2 mm) --how much of that should be added to the total saddle height in order for me to determine how deep I should route the neck pocket? And suppose I decide to block the trem against the body --will this mean that the neck will end up being too high?

I've been trying to draw this all out but I'm hoping someone can shed some light on this in the meantime-- I'm all set up to route but suddenly realized this might be an issue.

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As a followup...from the drawing I've made, it looks like the angle does indeed add to the saddle height.

So if the center saddles are set at 12 mm (because this is where the adjustment screw is flush with the top of the saddle --I figure that will give me a couple of millimeters of leeway if that's necessary...also I'm including the thickness of the plate, which is 2 mm thick at the back, 1 mm at the pivot), then the total height comes out at 15 mm.

Edit: Okay, I just realized where I was going wrong (in case anyone read this before I edited it): I was just counting the wrong way.

So now what I get is, if the string height is 15 mm, I want the fretboard height at the center to be more like 12- 13 mm or so...which makes my neck pocket come out at 12 mm...????

But I still need to know if I'm supposed to measure the saddles at the height including the 3.2 mm rise for the trem?

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That is one thin neck. Are those 25mm including the frets? If so we are talking really thin.

You might try to lower the saddles some. The problem with the vintage style strat bridges I have tried is that you have to lower the saddles so much that you actually hurt your hand on the screws. I have a CAD of a vintage strat knock-off and according to that you might be able to get the height of the bridge down to around 10-11 mm (total height including base plate) at the G and D string. I have one Strat here were wanted to use a modern two screw version. I recessed the tremolo to accommodate the high bridge.

Another solution is to angle the pocket slightly. I know that you shouldn’t have to according to vintage specs. But I suspect that your neck is way thinner than the vintage once so you have to alter things here.

To summon up I think you have two different problems. High saddles and thin neck add 3 mm to the neck thickness and maybe 3 mm for lower saddles and you are getting closer to the vintage specs.

What you need to do is to draw it out full scale. CAD is outstanding for things like this. If you need help to draw up a quick sketch I might be able to help you. I need the following measurements:

Neck thickness (only the wood)

Fret crown height

Bridge height with saddles a small bit from the base plate, say 1 mm

Your preferred string height at fret 12 (or 20 or whatever)

Body thickness (only to make a nice drawing)

Let me see… I think that’s all. If I miss something I will get back to you

Oh, and of caus:

Number of frets on that guitar

At what fret the neck meets the body

Scale lengt (thou I'm assuming 25.5")

Edited by SwedishLuthier
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Yes, it's a thin neck --that's 25 mm at the center, but without the fret height (that adds about a millimeter). I've compared the neck to the other neck I have here, which is more like 28 mm at the center, but that one has a rosewood fretboard. So that already accounts for a lot of the depth I'm missing --I'm thinking if I go to 13 mm, it all should work. I drew things out by hand using a protractor and a ruler, but I think it's right.

I've been measuring with the G and D saddles set more or less at the middle of their full height -- this way the adjustment screws are at about the surface, so I don't have to worry about scraping my hand on them. They're pretty much set at the same height as the saddles on my strat.

Thanks for your help!

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